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Could We See a Return of Aprilia’s Mighty Tuareg?

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Aprilia-Tuareg-900-Oberdan-Bezzi-adventu Aprilia Tuareg 900 concept by Oberdan Bezzi. | Photo: Oberdan Bezzi

Motorcycle designer, consultant and dreamer Oberdan Bezzi is still at his drawing board creating machines that combine style, heritage and panache. This time he’s come up with a couple of concepts that should excite both Dakar Rally buffs and lovers of classic Italian bikes. Moreover, they are concepts that have a chance of actually seeing production.

Bezzi is known for his renderings of familiar motorcycles. His ideas are thoughtful tweaks on production models instead of wild flights of fancy. They are what bikes would look like if riders, rather than penny-pinching manufacturers, designed motorcycles. Yet, his predictions of not-yet-built models have often proven very close to the mark. 


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This time he’s drawn new Aprilia Tuaregs, an off-road capable line of bikes that ranged from 50cc two strokes to 600cc four strokes. Aprilia launched the first Tuareg, named for the nomadic people of the Sahara Desert, in 1984 to compete for sales against rally-replica offerings from Honda, Yamaha, BMW, Cagiva and others. Tuareg production lasted about a decade. Despite its heritage, today there are only two bikes in Aprilia’s sportbike-centric lineup – the RX125 and RX50 – that fit into the dual sport machine mold. 

1988 Aprilia Tuareg 600 Wind1988 Aprilia Tuareg 600 Wind.

Aprilia Teases Tuareg

According to recent reports, Aprilia is working on a parallel twin engine that could find its way into an adventure bike, which would put it in good company with KTM’s 790 Adventure, Yamaha’s 700 Tenere, and Honda’s Africa Twin. A modern adventure bike would both broaden Aprilia’s appeal and speak to the company’s legacy. 

There are signs that it’s going to happen in some form. Aprilia has already teased the idea of a new Tuareg, with a parallel twin engine similar to the one shown in the RS 660 concept bike, at the 2018 EICMA show. There’s also word from Piaggio, Aprilia’s parent company, that they are developing a new family of medium-displacement motorcycles in India that will have off-road styling cues. A 400cc, modern, world-market Tuareg would be an amazing bike indeed, especially if building it in India would keep the price tag down. Could we see a revival of a Tuareg line featuring bikes powered by a variety of engine configurations and sizes? 

Aprilia teases return of Tuareg at EICMAAprilia hinted the return of the Tuareg at last year’s EICMA. | Photo: Motociclismo.it

Nothing is confirmed, but Bezzi’s beautiful concept Tuareg models give us something to hope for. One of his sketches is based on the existing 900cc, V-Twin Shiver (shown above). It features a sleek, angular fairing for wind protection, 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, a solid black bash plate, handguards and an upswept exhaust. He’s drawn it in two color schemes: red and silver, and red, white and blue. Both look stunning. 

Aprilia Tuareg 400 Rally concept by Orbedan BezziAprilia Tuareg 400 Rally concept by Oberdan Bezzi. | Photo: Oberdan Bezzi

A second Tuareg visualizes the 400cc medium-displacement idea with a trellis frame and the engine as a stressed member. It has a high front fender, small adjustable fairing, a radiator integrated into the bodywork, handguards, spoked 21/18 wheels, aluminum bash plate and a high exhaust. This model is shown in a purple-and-red color scheme with “Rally” scrawled prominently on the tank. It looks better than it sounds, but the color palate might need tweaking. 

Aprilia Pegaso 400 concept by Orbedan BezziAprilia Pegaso 400 concept by Oberdan Bezzi. | Photo: Oberdan Bezzi

A third sketch imagines the same 400cc layout as more of a traditional adventure bike with spoked 19/17 wheels, a low shorty exhaust reminiscent of a sports bike, a low front fender, and a lower seat h than the other two models. This one’s done in tasteful black and silver and comes off as a more road-oriented version. Bezzi calls it a Pegaso. 

What do you think of the designs? Will Aprilia once again become a player in the adventure market?

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Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

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